April 26, 2008


Thibault Earns Sixth Win in Game One Victory

Providence, RI—Rhode Island College split a doubleheader with Western Connecticut on Saturday afternoon at Anchorman Field in Little East Conference baseball action. The Anchormen took game one, 6-3, behind a strong pitching effort from senior Eric Thibault (Somerset, MA). WestConn sophomore Joe Mangano (Stamford, CT) hurled a complete game to lead the Colonials to a 7-4 victory in the nightcap.



 Eric Thibault


RIC (23-11, 8-4) built a 6-0 lead for Thibault in game one, using a four-run third inning to build the advantage. Sophomore left fielder Jared Rossi (Johnston, RI) and junior third baseman Jeff Costa (Pawtucket, RI) contributed RBI-singles, while junior catcher Jordan Amorin (Swansea, MA) plated one with a sacrifice fly.


WestConn (15-19, 4-7) plated one run in the seventh, then sophomore designated hitter Dan Baccaro (Berlin, CT) and freshman first baseman Mike Baccaro (Berlin, CT) each knocked in a run in the ninth to account for the Colonials offense.


Thibault went 8.2 innings, allowing just two earned runs on four hits, while striking out seven, as he raises his record to 6-2. Sophomore Bobby Venditto (Cranston, RI) came one to get the final out and pick up his first save. Western Connecticut freshman Bill Armstrong (Moodus, CT) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits, wile striking out three, in 5.0 innings of work. Senior Jeff Hancock (Oakdale, CT) threw three innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit. RIC senior second baseman Pete Olson (North Providence, RI) went 3-for-5 with one run scored.


The Colonials capitalized on Anchormen errors in both the first and second frames to take a commanding, 7-1, lead in the nightcap. WestConn scored on a throwing error and a wild pitch, then sophomore designated hitter John DiGiovanni (Waterbury, CT) cleared the bases with a three-run double off RIC freshman starter Gary Levesque (East Providence, RI).


Western Connecticut added two in the second frame, highlighted by senior catcher Matt Gardiner’s (Terryville, CT) sacrifice fly. The RIC bullpen was the story over the final 7.2 innings as sophomores Paul Vatter (Warwick, RI), Eric Gelsomino (Johnston, RI) and Bobby Venditto (Cranston, RI), along with junior closer Eric Fama (Wappingers Falls, NY), combined to shutout WestConn, allowing just six hits and totaling 13 strikeouts. Gelsomino came on for Vatter with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth and retired the next three hitters.


The Anchormen chipped away at the deficit, plating one in the first on a junior right fielder Chris O’Connors (North Kingstown, RI) RBI single, then two more in the third on senior designated hitter Rob Reyes’ (Providence, RI) two-run double. Junior shortstop Josh Cardoso (Dartmouth, MA) plated another in the bottom of the ninth, but Mangano got the final out with two on and two out to end the contest.


Mangano went the distance to earn his second win (2-2), allowing four runs on seven hits, while striking out seven. Levesque took the loss (1-3). WestConn sophomore shortstop Sam McNeil (Gales Ferry, CT) and junior left fielder Nick Ross (Oakdale, CT) paced the attack from the top of the order, going a combined 5-for-10 with four runs scored.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play at Wheaton on Tuesday, Apr. 29, while WestConn will host Eastern Connecticut on Sunday, Apr. 27.


It was Senior Day as Thibault, Reyes, O’Connors, Olson, along with classmates Evan Grogan (East Lyme, CT) and Jim Connell (Smithfield, RI) were honored prior to the start of the twinbill.



 Senior Jim Connell with his mother Kathy and father Jim



 Evan Grogan along with former Assistant Coach Marc Pantazis



 Chris O'Connors with his mother Dawn and father Tony



 Pete Olson with his mother Maria and father Paul



 Rob Reyes with his father Maximo



 Eric Thibault with his father Michael and mother Deborah